MassMarket/Psyop for Infiniti

I think it was back around the summer of 2005 when Psyop first posted a three-spot series for Infiniti in which cars motored through majestically unfolding watercolor landscapes. They’ve kept that spirit alive with a new holiday-themed series that leans more on cloth simulation than paint effects.

Gifts 1 | Gifts 2

Like the original series, the transitions from scene to scene are silky smooth. The whole thing feels like an opium dream tinged in holiday cheer.

Some technical details from the release:

In this case, MassMarket utilized the “Photo-Bubble” during principal photography, which allowed the team to shoot real cars and driving action while limiting environmental reflections in the cars. to remove all reflections from the shot cars. Then art directed reflections were placed back in during compositing, by tracking CG models of the corresponding car, and using them as reflection objects during render.

CG models of the actual shot cars allowed MassMarket to do things like spinning wheels on stationary cars, as well as photogrammetry for augmented camera moves which allowed maximum flexibility when incorporating the live action plates into the breathtaking transitions.

Softimage’s XSI, was utilized for its Mental Ray rendering, and general production for the project. Autodesk’s Maya was used for cloth simulation, and snow creation. Pre-comps for visualization were handled in Adobe After Effects and Eyeon’s Digital Fusion. Final Compositing was onlined with Autodesk’s Flame.

The line between Psyop and its sister company MassMarket is sublimely blurred in these spots. I can’t decide where the design begins and the technical wizardry ends. Therein lies one of Psyop’s chief strengths—and the reason I admire their work so much.

Full credits

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



The design is perfect, the motion and CG are perfect, but this spot does nothing for me compared to the 2005 infiniti spots, which were what I wanted to grow up and become.

Marc B.

Design? I think this is more of a nicely composed CG spot with seamless cloth simulations and transitions. I don’t see much of design and i think massmarket is more about visual effects anyway.

If i may rant on the snowflakes, they don’t look as if they were created with maya. It’s all just blurry dots.

Looking good nevertheless.


nice one! the transformations are really good. but the transition in “gift 2” where the reflected car gets focused isn’t smooth enough. that’s the only flaw for me.


@Marc: So the typography, the brilliant palette, the animation, the layout, the framing–those are all compositing tricks? This was a joint project from Psyop and Mass Market; the influence of each is crystal clear… if you know how to see it.


@ Marc #2: I’m referring to design as more than just graphic design, but you knew that, right?

Marc B.

Justin I get your point.
However i’m curious if you would’ve posted this if it was done by charlex or rhinofx. Ehh!! :D
It seems that no matter what psyop does nowadays it still gets all the hype and praise.

Speaking of car ads I like this new one by BNS better:


I guess Marc B. liked psyop renault work.


nah, i think psyop rocks. :)

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